The website ‘Blacknegative’ uses many advanced graphics and video/ audio to communicate its ideas. However, many aspects of this website are not accessible for blind people. In order for the blind to use a website, it must have text to speech capabilities, but the graphics and videos on this website do not have descriptive text embedded, so there is no way for blind people to know what is going on. For example, the page pictured is a set of letters that change as they are scrolled over to reveal new information. Since there is no description of what the letters spell out, or the information behind them, there is no way for blind people to have any idea what is going on. WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) have several Guidelines that relate to perceivablility. These include Text Equivalent, Time Based Media, Adaptable and Distinguishable. This website does not account for the Text Equivalent Guideline of WCAG because it does not have text alternatives to graphics. At times, the graphics or words are even indistinguishable from the background and the audio and video play automatically as you move onto the next page, which does not satisfy the Distinguishable Guideline of WCAG. Also, the layout is very complicated, and this can pose a problem for many screen readers in that they are not able to process the website properly, which is a problem with adaptability. Although this would not be a problem for blind people, music on the videos as well as the background music on the website itself did not have any visual indication or caption that there was music playing, which does not satisfy the Time Based Media Guideline. In order to improve the accessibility of this website, a play button should be added to turn the background music on and off. Also, descriptive tags should be added to the graphics so they can be read aloud by a text to speech interface. Finally, a more basic website should be created as an alternative so that the content can be interpreted more easily. By implementing these solutions, ‘Blacknegative’ can become much more user friendly, for those with disabilities.
Click the “Read More” button below to view the transcript for this podcast.